Week of:
Feb 10, 2017

How do I learn to love?

Dear Alice,

I don't know what love is. My family thinks it's a kind of trade, or reciprocity. If they do for me, they demand "love" in return. I'm pretty sure that isn't love. I'm an adult now, and have no desire to be indebted to anyone, hence I don't pursue relationships. But I'm pretty sure love isn't reciprocity, and I know I've never felt love. How does one go about learning to love?

Loveless

Looking for the right person

Dear Alice,

I'm a guy who can't seem to find the right person. I'm not unattractive or a louse, but for the longest time I've had trouble starting a relationship with anyone. The problem is that when I meet a woman, I can't seem to progress past the friendship stage. Many of these women become my good friends, but they just don't seem interested in starting a physical relationship. My bad luck has left me feeling unattractive and unconfident. I get frustrated when I hear about my friends falling in and out of relationships. Any ideas on how I can improve my relationship status? I know it's vague, but it's been troubling me for a long time.

Thanks,
Down on his luck

Brother gets all the girls

Dear Alice,

I am a college grad who has always had trouble finding a girl to have a romantic relationship with. I have had only one real relationship during my junior year in college and it ended before the point in which we would have had sex. (Alas, I am still a virgin!). The other day my older brother (by one year) and I were talking about this and he advised me to be more aggressive. (I am admittedly somewhat shy). However, I fear that it may be something more basic than that. I used to not think that my brother was that much better looking than me but seeing girls walk across a crowded room to talk to him on more than one occasion while I stood right beside and watched has changed my mind and affected the confidence I have in myself. I'm starting to realize that all the girls I am interested in don't see me as attractive. Without even asking, I can see it in their eyes: "Let's just be friends." If my problem is lack of physical charms maybe I should set my sights lower.

What do you think??
Signed,
Lonely without Love

In love, but not in lust

Dear Alice,

I have been going out with my boyfriend for nearly four years and we are both approaching the engagement decision. We get along great and never lose the ability to have fun and laugh together. The only problem is that while he wants to engage in intimate activities often (we are still both virgins), I am not that interested. I love him, but I still don't get physically turned on with him as I do while fantasizing about other guys. Is it wrong to marry someone whom you don't feel a total "romance novel" passion for?

— In love, but not in lust